SATs a measure to success

SATs a measure to success

As Year 6 children up and down the country sit for their Key Stage 2 SATs this week, the question of whether we’re putting too much stress on 11 year-olds continues.

Testing is crucial if we’re to measure a child’s progress and ensure they are helped to improve and be the best they can be.

Teachers are continually testing throughout the year and it is only at certain milestones that those tests become formalised and recorded.

On the one hand, parents put a lot of pressure on schools and governments to improve standards.

But conversely, there are also parents that complain there is too much testing.

Those same parents will want to send their children to the best schools. But how do you measure what is a good school? Well, test results are one of those ways.

There is nothing wrong with tests if they are good tests. Children need to practise sitting exams as they will have to do a lot of them later. It is important to introduce this early in a child’s education.

If there were no tests, standards would fall and then there would be complaints about this. The fact that there are two sets of exams on core subjects in eleven years is not excessive – it is necessary.

SATs tell us how children are doing across the nation. This is essential information for the education department. This is also crucial information for secondary schools, as the children move up.

It is also important for children to have something definite to aim at and the fact there are pressures on them is not a reason for not doing this. Year 6 children will have to face exams, but the only official exams they will take again are five years later (GCSEs).

Abolishing SATs would mean there would be no official nationally recognised measurements and no accountability in the primary years – that would be unacceptable.

Unfortunately, there are some in the teaching profession who would prefer a more laissez-faire arrangement, but that would only lead to a lowering of standards.

Our PISA rankings indicate we are still behind many other western nations in literacy and numeracy. If we are to succeed in a post-Brexit world we need to ensure our children are educated properly.

The process of preparing for exams is an important part of a child’s education. We should not be shielding children from difficult experiences as this helps develop character and resilience.